Fayette Yates, 83, of Tuscola, Texas, a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend to many, passed away Thursday, April 5, 2007, at his home.
Born on November 24, 1923, to I. G., Jr. (Cap) and Lela Yates, Fayette was one of three children. He married Rita DuRoss on January 2, 1982. She and Fayette celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary in January 2007.
Fayette was born near Fort Stockton, Texas. His early years were spent on a ranch in Jack County, and later in Alpine, Texas. The Yates family connection to West Texas oil is historic. As a result of family ties to the oil industry, the Texas city of Iraan was named for his grandparents, Ira and Ann Yates.
Fayette considered himself, first and foremost, a rancher. Fayette, like his dad, played an important role in the cattle industry. Among other things, Cap and Fayette brought the first Charolais cows into the United States. Their biggest and most enduring impact, however, was their efforts to preserve a Texas icon, Texas Longhorn cattle. In contrast to much of the mainstream Longhorn industry, both Fayette and his dad remained steadfast in their efforts to maintain the true, authentic Longhorn cattle. Fayette was a founding member of the CattlemenÕs Texas Longhorn Registry and the CattlemenÕs Texas Longhorn Conservancy.
For many, FayetteÕs passing represents the end of an era as he was one of the last, true Texas cowboys. He will be remembered for his infectious laughter, sense of humor, colorful language, and giving spirit.
Survivors include his wife, Rita Yates of Tuscola, five daughters and two sons: Toddi Jaine Beazley and her husband, Bill, of Tecumseh; Cindy Darby of Abilene; Ellen Gaston and her husband, Mike, of Rowlett; Lori White and her husband, Jason, of Tuscola; Mary Jean Maki and her husband, Jere, of Dallas; Brad Caskey and his wife, Janae, of Abilene; and Ricky Wedeking and his wife, Sharon, of Stamford. Fayette looked forward with great anticipation to every visit with his fifteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Fayette was preceded in death by his parents, brother and sister.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the CattlemenÕs Texas Longhorn Conservancy for The Yates Family Endowment Fund, 1933 C.R. 299, Gonzales, TX 78629.
The Yates family is grateful for the outpouring of love, support and encouragement from their church families and from their countless friends.